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Solar panels and optical parametric oscillator

  1. Jan 24, 2015 #1
    Hi everyone.
    On these days, by watching solar panels and similar stuff, I just thought about it, and why they take such a wide surface to produce energy, and why their output is often low, as we all know.
    By navigating here on the internet, I've just seen a device called OPO (Optical parametrical oscillator)
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Optical_parametric_oscillator , whose primary function is doubling the frequency of a wave, usually emitted by laser. In this device, if we say it briefly, a laser usually reaches the surface of this device: at this point, it hits a cristal, and two mirrors, that create the output of a higher frequency (usually double as the original frequency, if I'm correct).
    My point is: physically, solar panels function according to the principle that photons emit light with a given frequency, say, f, and the energy associated with that frequency

    E = hf

    Makes the electrons on the surface of solar panels "escape", which in turn produces electric current. That means, the more frequency we have, maybe until a given point, the more energy and the more electricity we have.

    Another consideration that I wanna do is: the radiation of the sun, and the laser used to make the OPO function, have the same frequency, if I'm right. Means that the device should virtually work with light, provided we modify it in some way.

    My question, is then: what would happen if we could use an optical parametric oscillator in our solar panels, in order to double the frequency associated with light in a solar panel, and then produce electricity with a surface that could be much less of the originary one? Would we have any problems about feasibilty, or costs?
  2. jcsd
  3. Jan 24, 2015 #2


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    Won't work. Sunlight is not a near-monochromatic, coherent source of light, which is what you need for this. Since the resonator portion only resonates at a single wavelength, all the energy in the frequencies that don't match the resonator will be lost.
  4. Jan 24, 2015 #3
    Hi. First of all, thank you for your answer :)
    Secondly, isn t there any system to filter the various freqiencies of light, in order to get the desired frequency?
  5. Jan 24, 2015 #4
    You could but you'd be throwing away the majority of the spectrum, losing the vast majority of the light before it even reaches your cell.
  6. Jan 24, 2015 #5

    Vanadium 50

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    Filtering throws away light. You're moving in the wrong direction.
  7. Jan 24, 2015 #6
    But this would work if we would be able to design the oscillator in such a way that it takes much less light, which is a bad cojdition, but would be theorically able to triplicate or quadruplicate its frequency, right?
  8. Jan 24, 2015 #7

    Vanadium 50

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    Your invention is getting more magical with each post.
  9. Jan 24, 2015 #8
    Lol alright ahahah
  10. Jan 24, 2015 #9
    I understood now what you mean..I m sorry.
    The oscillator can work with a single wavelength and a single frequency, with the result we can t take frequencies that are close to that one...I initially thought there could always be a small range of frequencies at which the device could resonate..
  11. Jan 24, 2015 #10

    Vanadium 50

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    But if you filter those other frequencies, you lose their energy. Sorry - there is no free lunch.
  12. Jan 24, 2015 #11
    Yes...That's obvious now....you can't have much energy only from a SINGLE frequency of light...I just didn't know this particular of the oscillator.. Thanks for your help anyway :)
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